BlackBerry Torch 9800 Announced by RIM; AT&T Exclusive, New OS

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Flame on: At a press conference this morning, RIM and AT&T announced the BlackBerry Torch 9800, the latest smartphone in the BlackBerry line. As the graphic above shows, there are some major changes afoot: The phone boasts a 3.2-inch 480×360 touchscreen display previously found only on the BlackBerry Storm, a full slide-out QWERTY keyboard, a 624 Mhz processor with 512 MB Flash memory, and four GB of internal storage, plus the option of a 4 GB micro-SD card. (h/t MobileCrunch) It also features a brand new, just-announced operating system, BlackBerry 6 OS:

From the press release:

BlackBerry 6 features a redesigned interface that seamlessly works with the touch screen and trackpad, includes expanded messaging capabilities with intuitive features to simplify the management of social networking and RSS feeds (Social Feeds), and provides integrated access to the BlackBerry® Messenger (BBM™), Facebook®, Twitter™, MySpace™ and various instant messaging applications available on the BlackBerry Torch smartphone. Its enhanced multimedia experience rivals the best in the industry and includes a dedicated YouTube app and Podcasts app.

BlackBerry 6 also integrates a new and rich WebKit-based browser on BlackBerry Torch that renders HTML web pages (as well as HTML email) quickly and beautifully for a great browsing experience. It features tabs for accessing multiple sites simultaneously, pinch to zoom for easy navigation and an auto-wrap text zoom feature that can intelligently wrap text in a column while maintaining the placement of a page’s key elements (simply double-tap on the BlackBerry Torch).

Universal search, always accessible from the Home Screen, allows users to search through email, messages, contacts, music, videos and more on the smartphone, as well as extend search to the Internet or to discover applications on BlackBerry App World™.

Sounds promising. But alas, AT&T is hoarding all of the goodies: The phone is an AT&T exclusive. The BlackBerry Torch 9800 will be available for purchase on August 12th from AT&T retail stores, AT&T’s website, and Best Buy, Wal-Mart, and RadioShack stores. It’ll be available for $199.99 with a 2-year service agreement or for $499.99 without.

(via press release, MobileCrunch. Title image via CrackBerry)

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